Introduction of necessary Mandarin in Nepal schools could be a step towards making the Himalayan state “China ready” for “smooth” execution of BRI projects in India’s northern neighbor.
A Chinese government’s proposal of spending salaries of mandarin teachers in Nepal has encouraged many private schools in the Himalayan kingdom to ensure it is mandatory for students to learn the language, based on a Nepalese media report. This, based on Nepal experts, could be part of the plan that will assist the effective implementation of BRI proposals for Nepal in the long run.
Nevertheless, a section of Nepalese society, proud of their heritage and culture, may resist this move aimed at signification, claimed one of the experts mentioned earlier.
According to guidelines laid down by the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC), a government body which designs school-level educational curriculum, schools in Nepal are able to teach foreign languages but they could not make those subjects mandatory for students. The schools were aware of the supply, but they overlooked it as they are getting Mandarin teachers for free, the media report stated.
Nepal needs to join BRI and use Chinese routes and ports in order to lessen its “heavy dependence” on India and is showing attraction towards BRI.
Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari attended the second BRI summit in April. A joint communique granted after the leaders’ roundtable outlines the Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-dimensional Connectivity Network, including the Nepal-China cross-border railway. It was the first time that Nepal’s particular project was mentioned in official BRI documents.
Throughout Bhandari’s China visit, the two sides additionally signed a protocol related to the Transit and Transport Treaty. The protocol allows Nepal to use China’s sea and road infrastructure for third country trade. However, Nepal has to build certain infrastructure to actually make use of Chinese ports.
Each side has concluded a pre-feasibility study of the offered Keyung-Kathmandu railway. It may take about two years and $312 million to conclude the Detailed Project Report.
Nevertheless, Nepal runs the risk of falling into a debt trap like Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The authorities led by KP Sharma Oli is making efforts to take other nations, including India, into confidence about its participation in BRI and visited India for PM Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. Modi was invited to visit Kathmandu. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar could undertake a trip to Nepal as part of his trips in South Asia.